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Union Cabinet approves lowering of age of Juveniles from 18 to 16 years for heinous crimes

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In a major decision taken on wednesday 22nd april 2015, the Union Cabinet approved lowering of age of juveniles involved in disgraceful and shocking crimes. Juvenile Justice Board will now have the power of authority in deciding on a juvenile above 16years of age whether he would be sent to observation board or to the court. As per the bill, in no case the juvenile who had committed unpardonable crimes such as rape etc would be sentenced to death or imprisoned for life.

Decision in this was taken by Union Cabinet meeting held in the presence of chairperson Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.The cabinet also approved to introduce minor change to the Juvenile Justice {Care and Protection of Children} Bill, 2014.This modification will propose and add special provisions to deal with disgraceful offences like murder and rape done by Juveniles between ages 16 and 18.Other amendments include faster adoption of children and setting up foster care homes etc.

The proposed bill will alter the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.The Juvenile Justice Act 2000 came under investigation after Delhi gang rape case where a Juvenile was found guilty along with other four adults. Supreme Court had indeed asked the government to revisit the law on April 6th 2015, so that a Juvenile cannot escape after committing rape and murder claiming that he is too young to understand the outcome of his crimes.

Since the evaluation will take place by board having social experts and psychologists,it would make sure that the juvenile rights are protected if he has done the crime as a child.Trial of the case will take place as juvenile or as an adult on the basis of this evaluation.The child rights activists warned saying that amendments will certainly diminish the efforts made in restoring juveniles

ABOUT JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT 2000

  • Its the primary legal framework for Juvenile justice in India.
  • The act provides special approach to the treatment of Juveniles offenders.
  • It was on 30th December 2000 the Act was agreed but came into force from 1st April 2001.